“A Bridge Too Far”: Classic War Movie Study of Failure

Made in 1977, this was one of the last of the blockbuster war movies about human failure in war. Based on Cornelius Ryan’s best seller, A Bridge Too Far is a successful movie adaptation about Operation Market Garden, an overly ambitious, poorly planned co-UK-US attempt to end WWII early.

The plot focuses on several subplots and storylines built around one of the most impressive casts ever assembled which includes: Dirk Bogarde, James Caan, Michael Caine, Sean Connery, Edward Fox, Elliott Gould, Gene Hackman, Anthony Hopkins, Laurence Olivier, Ryan O’Neal, Robert Redford, Maximilian Schell, and Liv Ullman, all at the peaks of their careers.

Music is appropriately provided by John Addison, the script was written by William Goldman, and Richard Attenborough directed this massive, realistic project. The film set in Holland was shot in the Netherlands and U.K. A lot of care was taken in bringing the actual events to life. Civilian responses and interactions help keep the film believable and relevantĀ for the average viewer.

The recommended MGM Collector’s Edition includes an extra disc with more information about the historical original and the making of the film.

A Bridge Too Far easily makes the top 5 war films of all time, especially on the themes of human blunders and heroic actions in impossible situations. It remains an entertaining film for students of history and fans of war films in particular.

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